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Body in car is likely missing Meadow Valley man

BreakingNewsDan McDonald
Managing Editor

    Human remains found Tuesday, June 4, are believed to be the body of a Meadow Valley man who has been missing since May 1.

Remains found in car believed to be Clifford Wade.
 The California Highway Patrol and Caltrans personnel discovered the overturned 1969 Mercury Cougar belonging to Clifford Wade down an embankment along Highway 70 in Butte County.

    According to CHP Information Officer Doug Garrett, the Butte County Coroner is in the process of identifying the body.

    Wade’s car was discovered after the CHP responded to help a motorist who was stuck in a ditch about 9:15 a.m. Tuesday. The vehicle was stuck along Highway 70 near the Pulga bridge at milepost 38.4.

    Garrett said Caltrans workers were called to help free the stuck vehicle and noticed tire marks leading off the road and down the embankment.

    Wade’s badly damaged car was discovered about 125 feet down the embankment. Garrett said the car’s hood was almost totally caved in.

    The car came to rest on the driver’s side after hitting a tree. Garrett said if not for the tree, the car likely would have tumbled another 500 to 700 feet down the embankment.

    Garrett said if officers hadn’t been helping the stranded motorists, it could have been a long time before Wade’s car was discovered.

    “It was really sheer luck that the car was found,” Garrett said. “People who were just driving by wouldn’t see it. It could have gone unnoticed for a long time.”

    Garrett said the tire marks indicated the car was headed west toward Oroville when it went off the road. He said the marks on the road were “friction marks” and not skid marks, leading investigators to believe the car was swerving sideways when it went off the road.

    The tracks led to the overturned Cougar which had a deceased person inside. Garrett said the person had been dead for some time.

    Wade was reported missing by his wife, Nancy Wade, more than a month ago. She said he was last seen about 11:30 a.m. on May 1.

    She said her husband, who was diabetic, left without his medication. She said calls to his cellphone indicated the phone had been turned off.

    He was reported missing the following day, prompting a search and rescue operation by the Plumas County Sheriff’s Office.

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